Travel Social Networking -- IMGuestWhen you think of social networks for business, you probably think of LinkedIn almost immediately. It’s certainly one of the most familiar ones out there, but a lot of the focus on LinkedIn involves connecting with people who you might not ever get a chance to meet in person. It’s nice to have those people in your network, but when you have the chance to meet people face to face, it can mean a lot more. If you travel for business, then you probably stay in a lot of hotels, and sure enough, many of the other people in those hotels are also traveling for business. A new town can be lonely, but it doesn’t have to be — why not network with your fellow business travelers in person through IMGuest?

It works like this. By using this service (which can be accessed by signing in from your LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter account if you don’t feel like creating a whole new IMGuest account), you can check in to the hotel where you’re staying and specify who you would like to meet. You’ll see who else is currently at the hotel, and if your interests align, you can send them a message to see if they want to meet face to face. Maybe they know the town well and can take you on a first-hand tour of the best local places to mix sushi with karaoke. Perhaps you’ve been there before and want to share some of the more outlandish sights and sounds of the city with a real person instead of just telling tall tales to jealous colleagues back at the home office who think you’re just making it all up, anyway.

You never know who you could meet, and some lifelong business relationships (or karaoke buddies) could develop from these introductions. Because, even though sitting in front of a computer for hours every day is something most of us can relate to, it’s always nice to step away and experience the world — and its people — in person.